October 23rd, 2019


Books read lately

The Missing Ones, by Edwin Hill - This is the sequel to Little Comfort, which I really liked. I wasn't so fond of this one and took awhile to get through it, because there's not nearly enough of the found-family vibe from the first book, and way too much of people I don't particularly care about making terrible life choices on a vaguely Nantucket-ish island. I remember mentioning that I liked how the first book reflected the general irrationality of human behavior, but that terrible-decision-making thing is cranked up to 11 in this book; I've gone from appreciating it to wanting to yell STOP BEING FUCKING STUPID at the characters half the time. Especially when they keep repeating the exact same mistake that got them in trouble the last time.

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The Institute, by Stephen King - This, on the other hand, was delightful. His recent books have been very hit-or-miss for me, but this is probably my favorite thing he's written since sometime in the general vicinity of Duma Key and Under the Dome. It's classic King in the best way, and it has all the trappings: plucky kids, psychic powers, relatively ordinary things becoming absolutely horrifying in context, misfits banding together against evil, a somewhat banal/loony premise that is so full of details and grounding that you're willing to buy into it wholesale. I devoured it over the last couple of days - I was bribing myself to get words written by promising another chapter or two of the book - and definitely recommend. This book also reminded me more of Stranger Things than any other specific book he's written, which is hilarious since Stranger Things is so obviously inspired partly by King's books, but this is like things have looped around full circle and now the Stranger Things influence is showing up in his new books.

There was a post that crossed my Tumblr dash yesterday along the lines of (heavily paraphrased) "we need more protagonists who save the world by being nice/kind/decent", and having just finished this book, it occurred to me how often that's a recurring thing in King's books, that people win through basic decency. They might not survive it, but I think one of the things that keeps me coming back to his books is that, despite the high body count, they're the exact opposite of hopeless. There's a general faith in people, and a general liking for people, and sympathy for people, that shows up in his books over and over again; in fact if there's a single overall theme to his work, it's basically "Be kind. It's worth it." Even if it ends up not benefiting you personally, in the sense that the monster gets you, the books of his that have good outcomes (which most of them do, more or less) are that way in direct response to characters choosing to do the kind, decent thing.

One other spoilery comment, though not book-breaking spoilers:

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Winter Sunlight

Day 23: Bleeding Out

Technically [personal profile] rachelmanija asked for Secret Injury, but I got several requests for that one, so I'm farming them out to other compatible spaces. I'm also considering this a sort of joint gift for Rachel and [personal profile] maplemood, since hers was so short. <3

Hideout (2827 words) by Sholio
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: The Punisher (TV 2017)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Amy Bendix & Frank Castle
Characters: Amy Bendix, Frank Castle
Additional Tags: Stabbing, Blood Loss, On the Run, Whumptober
Summary: Amy and Frank are on the run. Again. And Frank is hurt worse than he's willing to let on.</p>

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